Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 04, 2005

London Hospital Attacks VRE Superbug with Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide

Local London reports that Kingston Hospital's ICU was decontaminated over the weekend, following infection of three patients with vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), a relatively rare superbug that is still confined to hospital and nursing-home settings. What's significant, however, is the response:
A [Kingston] hospital spokeswoman said: "Over the weekend the area underwent full bio-decontamination using the latest technology, tested and approved by the new rapid review panel for NHS technology." [see this PDF on the Bioquell process used at Kingston, and this Bioquell news release; go here for info on other NHS-approved decontamination technologies.]

The unit was sprayed with hydrogen peroxide vapour which creates a fog that covers the whole area, killing any germs. The hydrogen peroxide was then extracted by a machine that ensures that the environment is safe for immediate re-use.

This new decontamination method amounts to "going nuclear" against dangerous bacteria. Like the use of diatomaceous earth against insect pests, hydrogen peroxide attacks bacterial cells at such a basic level that there is no way for them to develop resistance against it. And while the peroxide vapor is poisonous to humans while hanging in the air, it breaks down into water vapor and oxygen, with no poisonous byproducts, and does not harm equipment or other furnishings.

Look for vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) to be deployed frequently in the future against superbugs that have taken up residence within hospitals. The treatment also is effective against anthrax spores.
[Hat tip: MRSA Watch]


At 5/11/2005 8:23 AM, Anonymous Alistair said...

I am pleased to see that this story has been picked up as it is a success story in the battle against these nosocomial pathogens.

Just as a point of accuracy the technology that was used was that offered as part of a Room Bio Decontamination Service (RBDS) by BIOQUELL the correct link for the Rapid Review Panel results is

I am pleased to say that this is one of many projects of this nature we have completed - more details are available on our website WWW.BIOQUELL.COM

At 5/13/2005 8:36 AM, Blogger Mike said...

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